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[ 14 ] July 15, 2015 |

“BPC Dixmude” by Simon Ghesquiere/Marine Nationale – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

In my latest for the National Interest, I make the case that it’s in just about everyone’s national interest to facilitate the transfer of the two Mistral-class amphibs, intended for Russia, to Brazil:

Brazil could use a pair of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. Fortuitously, a pair just came on the market.

As has become well known, Russia contracted with France in 2009 to build a pair of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in French yards. The French would then assist in the construction of two additional Mistrals in Russian yards, giving the Russians a chance to redevelop their skills at building large surface warships.

The Mistrals displace 21,000 tons, can make almost 19 knots, and can carry two-to-three dozen helicopters, in addition to small boats and a contingent of marines. They have advanced communication systems necessary for managing complex amphibious operations (the sophistication of this system was one of the sticking points in the export deal with Russia).

And I’m not the first person to think this way. I spoke with a Brazilian naval analyst this evening, and he suggested that there are some legal difficulties (the contracting with Russia makes it very difficult to resell this ships, as does the presence of Russian military equipment on board), but that one of the options under consideration might be to sell the older Mistrals (France has three), and convert the Russian ships to French service. But there are also obvious concerns about where the money would come from.

Not to Fan the Flames, or Anything…

[ 211 ] July 15, 2015 |

I’m just gonna leave this here.

Mostly Because I Want to Know How to Fight the Furred Furies of Hell

[ 98 ] July 14, 2015 |

I must get my hands on this:
Is the American male a momma’s boy? And I’m also very interested in these joy-hunting hussies…

Hat tip to Andy Ferris.

Arms Industry!

[ 14 ] July 14, 2015 |
Chinese Su-27.JPG

“Chinese Su-27″ by Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

My latest at the National Interest takes a look at the areas of likely competition between Russian and Chinese arms industries:

Chinese industry can still learn much from Russia, but in many areas it has caught up with its model. The vibrancy of China’s tech sector suggests that Chinese military technology will leap ahead of Russian tech in the next decade. Historically, China’s military exports have occupied a different, lesser tier than Russian. Within the next decade, however, we should expect that Russia and China will fight hard for market share in the following five areas…

As usual, the comments themselves are worth the price of admission.

Let’s Have a Toast for the Assholes

[ 204 ] July 14, 2015 |

202450945718635011UVLUNQuScAs we begin to delve through the details of the Iran deal, let’s have a toast for the lying douchebags who’ve been jabbering away for the past twenty years that Iran was 18 months away from a bomb. It’s almost as if all that bullshit made people think that a deal with a ten year sunset (followed by a resumption of normal IAEA monitoring procedures) might be a good idea.


[ 93 ] July 13, 2015 |

Common face of one euro coin.jpgOpening up a new thread on the Greek deal.

Ingest. Digest. Enjoy.

Further on the “Carrier Gap”

[ 34 ] July 10, 2015 |
CVA-42 1971 DN-SP-04-08720.JPEG

USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1970. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

My Diplomat contribution this week takes a longer look at the “carrier gap”:

The panel successfully highlighted several problems that have recently become central to U.S. naval thought. The United States operates ten nuclear aircraft carriers, but only three of these are on post at any given time; the rest are in some stage of repair, refurbishment, and refit. Under surge conditions, the USN can restore most to service, but this can have severe consequences for the ships and their crews. What’s true of carriers is also true for the rest of the fleet, which is suffering from the same kind of over-employment problems.


Is there a Carrier Gap?

[ 78 ] July 8, 2015 | photo essay 080508-N-0483B-011.jpg

USS Essex (LHD-2)  U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Kari R. Bergman -Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I was on a panel yesterday on the “carrier gap” in the Middle East:

“Carrier demand has exceeded supply for many years,” said retired VADM Peter Daly, chief executive officer of the U.S. Naval Institute, speaking to an audience at a Washington seminar sponsored by the Navy League’s America’s Strength campaign and moderated by Bryan McGrath of the Hudson Institute. Also speaking were retired ADM Mark Fitzgerald, and Dr. Robert Farley of the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.

The Navy, obligated by law to field a force of 11 CVNs, is authorized by Congress to operate only 10 carriers until the next CVN, Gerald Ford, is commissioned in 2016.

The Battleship Book

[ 15 ] July 7, 2015 |

819t0XM3kvLAs hinted on Saturday, The Battleship Book has become a reality. The book, which includes chapters on sixty-two battleships, plus several “interludes” and sidebars, stems largely from the Sunday Battleship Blogging series at Lawyers Guns and Money between 2005 and 2007. Most of the entries have been heavily revised and edited for inclusion in the book, so even long-term LGM readers will hopefully find something new. The Battleship Book is available in paperback through Amazon
, but Wildside Press has generously offered a coupon code (BATTLESHIP) for purchase of both the print version and the e-book through its own site. Note that the e-book and the print version will include different internal artwork, so it’s almost certainly worth your precious dollars to buy both. You can find an example of what the book will look like here (.pdf).

As you can imagine, there will be additional information available about the book in this space in advance of, and in the aftermath of, publication. And if you’re the sort of person who follows things on Pinterest, you can follow this board dedicated to the book.

Foreign Entanglements: Anti-Capitalist Crankery Edition

[ 0 ] July 7, 2015 |

I don’t think there’s any question that standards for guest invites at Foreign Entanglements have dropped dramatically:

China: 2025

[ 2 ] July 6, 2015 |

My latest at the National Interest takes a look at a few trends in Chinese military affairs:

The People’s Liberation Army and its constituent branches have undergone extraordinary change over the last fifteen years.  Doctrine, equipment, training, and strategic orientation have all evolved to the point that the PLA, the PLAN, and the PLAAF have become nearly unrecognizable from the vantage of the 1990s, when they used antiquated equipment, concentrated on making money rather than preparing to fight, and still looked for threats from the north rather than from the east.

The PLA has taken great steps forward over the past decade, just as it took great steps forward in the previous decade. What might it look like ten years from today?  What trends do we expect to continue?

Liaoning (CV-16). Courtesy of Global Times.

Liaoning (CV-16). Courtesy of Global Times.


WWC Final

[ 68 ] July 5, 2015 |

Breaking footage from Vancouver:


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